Frequently asked questions for apprentices and trainees
Apprenticeships and traineeships are best described as an employee, learning both on the job with guidance from a mentor or manager, and supported by classroom-type learning delivered by a training organisation. It is a three-way partnership foramalised through a training contract.
An apprentice or trainee has the opportunity to combine employment with training, working toward a nationally recognised qualification, whilst also earning money. In short, it is learning pathway that combines paid on-the-job training and formal learning with a Registered Training Organisation (training provider).
Apprenticeships and traineeships are common in trades and industries such as hairdressing and hospitality but it is possible to do both across a range of industries.
You can undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship as a school leaver, if you’re re-entering the workforce and if you are an adult simply looking at a career change. You can even begin an apprenticeship or traineeship in secondary school under a School-based Apprenticeship arrangement.
The apprenticeship or traineeship is established when you and your employer agree to and sign a national training contract.
Apprenticeships and traineeships offer a great way to get a head start in a chosen career through paid work and structured training that can be on-the-job, off-the-job or a combination of both. Existing skills and prior experience are recognised and course credit granted, potentially reducing formal training time.
Apprenticeships and traineeships can be undertaken on a full-time basis, or part-time basis, depending on the type of employment you are in - your employment arrangement determines which type of training contract you enter into for your apprenticeship or traineeship.
Each type of training contract has slightly different requirements you need to meet – these will be explained to you when you set up the apprenticeship or traineeship.
School-based apprenticeships/traineeships are a type of part-time training contract, designed to allow young people to commence employment based training while completing year 10, 11 and 12 of their education.
The approved apprenticeships/traineeships in Tasmania list details which courses are approved to be delivered in Tasmania for each type of apprenticeship and traineeship.
To search for apprenticeships and traineeships that cater to particular industries or occupation types, visit the Australian Apprenticeships Pathways website.
Generally speaking, courses in traditional vocational training areas, such as carpentry, construction or hairdressing, are apprenticeships, and those in non-traditional areas are traineeships – good examples are aged care and retail.
Both are nationally recognised training, and both form part of the Australian Qualifications Framework. A traineeship is essentially just a more recent offering that came about when vocational education and training expanded to be broader than traditional vocational training areas.
In both cases, what you are required to learn is detailed in a training package, which is endorsed by the relevant industry.
If you are really keen to tell the difference, the nominal duration of the qualification is a good indicator - Apprenticeships generally have a full-time nominal duration of up to four years, whilst most traineeships are 12‑24 months. Nominal duration of each qualification is also listed in the Approved apprenticeships/traineeships in Tasmania list.
In Tasmania, we treat apprenticeships and traineeships the same, with the same conditions, requirements for entry, and funding programs available for both.
In some cases, employment conditions might differ depending on whether you are an apprentice or a trainee. This is covered by the award or employment arrangement, so your employer will work this out and make sure you are paid appropriately. Also, some Australian Government incentives available to your employer may be restricted to apprenticeships only, but this will be clear from the list of qualifications those incentive programs cover, and the person that signs you up to your training contract will explain all of this to you and your employer, so you still won’t need to know which your course is.
If you have any queries, you can contact your Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP) or a Skills Tasmania Workforce Training Consultant but unless you really want to know, you can just leave this part with us and focus on your training.
If you are unsure about details relating to your training contract you can contact Skills Tasmania by calling 6165 6055.
During your apprenticeship or traineeship you and your employer will receive various letters from Skills Tasmania. If you have misplaced any of these you can contact Skills Tasmania by calling 6165 6055 to request a replacement letter.
As soon as you and your employer want to start your apprenticeship or traineeship the first thing you need to do is contact an Apprenticeship Network Provider (ANP). They will organise a time to sit down with both of you to complete the paperwork and explain the apprenticeship or traineeship you will be undertaking. They’ll also talk to you about any incentives or fees you need to be aware of.
Apprenticeship Network Providers (ANP), also referred to as Australian Apprenticeship Support Network providers (AASN), are contracted by the Australian Government to provide information, advice and support to employers, apprentices and trainees about apprenticeships and traineeships. They assist with the sign up of training contracts, as well as assess, approve and process the payment of Australian Government incentives.
They provide a free service to all employers, apprentices and trainees to:
- Complete and lodge the training contract.
- Determine eligibility for Australian Government incentives.
- Process Australian Government incentive payments to employers, apprentices and trainees (where applicable).
- Provide advice to employers, apprentices and trainees on qualifications available and who may be available to deliver your training.
- Monitor the progress of your apprenticeship or traineeship.
If you have further questions you can speak to an ANP.
There are two ANP located in Tasmania:
MAS National - 1300 627628
MEGT – 136348
Or to find an ANP office close to you visit the Australian Apprenticeships webpage.
There is an expectation that when you sign up for a course that you should be able to see it through to the end. Some training providers offer more flexible arrangements for learning and you are encouraged to discuss this with the training provider before you commence.
If you do need to leave or cancel your training you can discuss this directly with your training provider to see what options are available.